In order to ensure that the Métis community isn’t le behind and also benefits from the opportunities provided by major construction projects, such as the Bipole III transmission line project or the Enbridge line 3 replacement program, in 2014 the MMF acquired an economic unit, namely: Métis N4 Construction Inc.
Since then, several hundred Métis have benefited from opportunities thanks to Métis N4 Construction’s partnerships with major project contractors.
“It was part of MMF President David Chartrand’s vision,” said Jack Park, Métis N4 Construction president and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure in the Métis government. “Too o en, the Métis aren’t considered as potential contributors to major projects. The time had come for us to take our rightful place and take advantage of employment and economic development opportunities.”
In partnership with industry leaders such as Manitoba Hydro, Métis N4 Construction is developing training and education opportunities around major projects, while providing sustainable resources to support the approximately 100,000 Métis in Manitoba.
Two camps are currently in operation in Winnipegosis and Treherne. A third camp was in operation in Dawson Bay but was closed down this year.
“In our view, the camps that house our Métis citizens who work on these projects aren’t mere shelters,” said David Chartrand. “We go beyond that, by developing training opportunities in culinary arts, maintenance and other areas.”
In Dawson Bay, for example, “we also trained people in chainsaw logging. These are sustainable skills that can be put to good use in the community,” said Jack Park.
The first phase of Bipole III in December 2015 made it possible to train Métis Moe Yusim as an environmental officer. It was an ideal training situation thanks to direct access to practical experience.
Two other young Métis were trained in the assessment and reporting of hazardous situations as well as in GPS mapping, a program rarely made available in small communities such as Winnipegosis, Dawson Bay and Treherne.
“These are all great successes,” said Minister Park. “The enthusiasm is palpable. The entrepreneurs themselves pointed out that my teams, which are in fact largely made up of women, were phenomenal!”